Acta Geophysica

, Volume 67, Issue 2, pp 557–575 | Cite as

Prediction of porosity and gas saturation for deep-buried sandstone reservoirs from seismic data using an improved rock-physics model

  • Yaneng Luo
  • Handong HuangEmail author
  • Morten Jakobsen
  • Yadi Yang
  • Jinwei Zhang
  • Yanjie Cai
Research Article - Applied Geophysics


In recent years, many important discoveries have been made in global deep oil and gas exploration, which indicates that deep exploration has gradually become one of the most important areas in current and future hydrocarbon exploration. However, the prediction of deep reservoirs is very challenging due to their low porosity and complex pore structure characteristics caused by the burial depth and diagenesis. Rock physics provides a link between the geologic reservoir parameters and seismic elastic properties and has evolved to become a key tool of quantitative seismic interpretation. Based on the mineral component and pore structure analysis of studied rocks, we propose an improved rock-physics model by introducing a third feldspar-related pore for deep-buried sandstone reservoirs to the traditional Xu–White model. This modelling process consists of three steps: first, rock matrix modelling using time-average equations; second, dry rock modelling using a multi-pore analytical approximation; and third, fluid-saturated rock modelling using a patchy distribution. It has been used in total porosity estimation, S-wave velocity prediction and rock-physics template establishment. The applicability of the improved rock-physics model is verified by a theoretical quartz-water model test and a real data total porosity estimation compared with the traditional Xu–White model and the density method. Then, a rock-physics template is generated by the improved rock-physics model for porosity and gas saturation prediction using seismic data. This template is carefully calibrated and validated by well-log data at both the well-log scale and seismic scale. Finally, the feasibility of the established rock-physics template for porosity and gas saturation prediction is validated by a deep-buried sandstone reservoir application in the East China Sea.


Deep exploration Gas-bearing sandstone Pore structure Rock-physics modelling Seismic prediction 



This work was financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (41674139) and the National Science and Technology Major Project (2016ZX05033-02). We thank the Sinopec Shanghai branch for data provided and permission to publish the results of this research. Yaneng Luo would also like to thank the Basin and Reservoir Studies (BRS) group at University of Bergen for hospitality and support during his one-year visit.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


  1. Aki K, Richards PG (2002) Quantitative seismology, 2nd edn. University Science Books, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  2. Avseth P, Mukerji T, Mavko G (2005) Quantitative seismic interpretation: Applying rock physics tools to reduce interpretation risk. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Avseth P, Mukerji T, Mavko G, Dvorkin J (2010) Rock-physics diagnostics of depositional texture, diagenetic alterations, and reservoir heterogeneity in high-porosity siliciclastic sediments and rocks—a review of selected models and suggested work flows. Geophysics 75(5):A31–A47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Avseth P, Johansen TA, Bakhorji A, Mustafa HM (2014) Rock-physics modelling guided by depositional and burial history in low-to-intermediate-porosity sandstones. Geophysics 79(2):D115–D121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bachrach R, Avseth P (2008) Rock physics modeling of unconsolidated sands: accounting for nonuniform contacts and heterogeneous stress fields in the effective media approximation with applications to hydrocarbon exploration. Geophysics 73(6):E197–E209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bai J, Yue C, Liang Y, Song Z, Ling S (2013) Variable aspect ratio method in the Xu–White model for shear-wave velocity estimation. J Geophys Eng 10:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Batzle M, Wang Z (1992) Seismic properties of pore fluids. Geophysics 57:1396–1408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Berge PA, Berryman JG, Bonner BP (1993) Influence of microstructure on rock elastic properties. Geophys Res Lett 20:2619–2622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Berryman JG (1992) Single-scattering approximations for coefficients in Biot’s equations of poroelasticity. J Acoust Soc Am 91:551–571CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Berryman JG, Pride SR, Wang HF (2002) A differential scheme for elastic properties of rocks with dry or saturated cracks. Geophys J Int 151:597–611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Best A (2014) Physics of rocks for hydrocarbon exploration: introduction. Geophys Prospect 62:1203–1204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bosch M, Carvajal C, Rodrigues J, Torres A, Aldana M, Sierra JS (2009) Petrophysical seismic inversion conditioned to well-log data: methods and application to a gas reservoir. Geophysics 74(2):O1–O15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Buland A, Omre H (2003) Bayesian linearized AVO inversion. Geophysics 68:185–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Buland A, Kolbjørnsen O, Hauge R, Skjæveland Ø, Duffaut K (2008) Bayesian lithology and fluid prediction from seismic prestack data. Geophysics 73(3):C13–C21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cao Q, Zhou W, Liu Y, Chen W, Ji A, Lu J, Wang Y (2017) Characteristics and origin of deep high-porosity zones in slope of Xihu Sag. J Cent South Uni (Sci Technol) 48:751–760Google Scholar
  16. Cheng C, Toksöz MN (1979) Inversion of seismic velocities for the pore aspect-ratio spectrum of a rock. J Geophys Res 84:7533–7543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Chi X, Han D (2009) Lithology and fluid differentiation using rock physics template. Lead Edge 28:60–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dutton SP, Loucks RD (2010) Diagenetic controls on evolution of porosity and permeability in lower Tertiary Wilcox sandstones from shallow to ultradeep (200–6700 m) burial, Gulf of Mexico Basin, U.S.A. Mar Pet Geol 27:69–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dvorkin J, Nur A (1996) Elasticity of high-porosity sandstones: theory for two North Sea data sets. Geophysics 61:1363–1370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dyman TS, Wyman RE, Kuuskraa VA, Lewan MD, Cook TA (2003) Deep natural gas resources. Nat Resour Res 12:41–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Guéguen Y, Palciauskas V (1994) Introduction to the physics of rocks. Princeton University Press, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  22. Hu M, Shen J, Hu D (2013) Reservoir characteristics and its main controlling factors of the Pinghu Formation in Pinghu structural belt, Xihu depression. Oil Gas Geol 34:185–191Google Scholar
  23. Jakobsen M, Hudson J, Johansen TA (2003a) T-matrix approach to shale acoustics. Geophys J Int 154:533–558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jakobsen M, Johansen TA, McCann C (2003b) The acoustic signature of fluid flow in complex porous media. J Appl Geophys 54:219–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Johansen TA, Drottning Lecomte I, Ystdal HG (2002) An approach to combined rock physics and seismic modelling of fluid substitution effects. Geophys Prospect 50:119–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Keys RG, Xu S (2002) An approximation for the Xu–White velocity model. Geophysics 67:1406–1414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Keys R, Matava T, Foster D, Ashabranner D (2017) Isotropic and anisotropic velocity model building for subsalt seismic imaging. Geophysics 82(3):S247–S258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kuster GT, Toksöz MN (1974) Velocity and attenuation of seismic waves in two-phase media. Geophysics 39:587–618CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lai J, Wang G, Fan Z, Chen J, Wang S, Zhou Z, Fan X (2016) Insight into the pore structure of tight sandstones using NMR and HPMI measurements. Energy Fuels 30:10200–10214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lai J, Wang G, Chai Y, Xin Y, Wu Q, Zhang X, Sun Y (2017) Deep burial diagenesis and reservoir quality evolution of high-temperature, high-pressure sandstones: examples from Lower Cretaceous Bashijiqike Formation in Keshen area, Kuqa depression, Tarim basin of China. AAPG Bull 101(6):829–862CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lai J, Wang G, Wang S, Cao J, Li M, Pang X, Zhou Z, Fan X, Dai Q, Yang L, He Z, Qin Z (2018) Review of diagenetic facies in tight sandstones: diagenesis, diagenetic minerals, and prediction via well logs. Earth Sci Rev 185:234–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Li H, Zhang J (2012) Analytical approximations of bulk and shear moduli for dry rock based on the differential effective medium theory. Geophys Prospect 60:281–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lindsay R, Van Koughnet R (2001) Sequential Backus averaging: upscaling well logs to seismic wavelengths. Lead Edge 20:188–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mavko G, Mukerji T, Dvorkin J (2009) The rock physics handbook tools for seismic analysis of porous media, 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Morad S, Al-Ramadan K, Ketzer JM, DeRos LF (2010) The impact of diagenesis on the heterogeneity of sandstone reservoirs: a review of the role of depositional facies and sequence stratigraphy. AAPG Bull 94(8):1267–1309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Müller TM, Gurevich B, Lebedev M (2010) Seismic wave attenuation and dispersion resulting from wave-induced flow in porous rocks—a review. Geophysics 75(5):A147–A164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Norris AN (1985) A differential scheme for the effective moduli of composites. Mech Mater 4:1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ødegaard E, Avseth P (2004) Well log and seismic data analysis using rock physics templates. First Break 23:37–43Google Scholar
  39. Pang X, Jia C, Wang W (2015) Petroleum geology features and research developments of hydrocarbon accumulation in deep petroliferous basins. Pet Sci 12:1–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rezaee R, Saeedi A, Clennell B (2012) Tight gas sands permeability estimation from mercury injection capillary pressure and nuclear magnetic resonance data. J Petrol Sci Eng 88–89:92–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Ruiz F, Dvorkin J (2009) Sediment with porous grains: rock-physics model and application to marine carbonate and opal. Geophysics 74(1):E1–E15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sun L, Zou C, Zhu R, Zhang Y, Zhang S, Zhang B, Zhu G, Gao Z (2013) Formation, distribution and potential of deep hydrocarbon resources in China. Pet Explor Dev 40:687–695CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Vernik L, Kachanov M (2010) Modelling elastic properties of siliciclastic rocks. Geophysics 75(6):E171–E182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wang S, Yuan S, Wang T, Gao J, Li S (2018) Three-dimensional geosteering coherence attributes for deep-formation discontinuity detection. Geophysics 83(6):O105–O113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. White JE (1975) Computed seismic speeds and attenuation in rocks with partial gas saturation. Geophysics 40:224–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wu J, Zhang L, Wan L, Zhao Q, Yang C, Wang Y (2017) Provenance analysis of Pinghu Formation in Xihu sag. China Pet Explor 22:50–57Google Scholar
  47. Wyllie MRJ, Gregory AR, Gardner LW (1956) Elastic wave velocities in heterogeneous and porous media. Geophysics 21:41–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Xu S, Payne MA (2009) Modelling elastic properties in carbonate rocks. Lead Edge 28:66–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Xu S, White RE (1995) A new velocity model for clays and mixtures. Geophys Prospect 43:91–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Xu S, White RE (1996) A physical model for shear-wave velocity prediction. Geophys Prospect 44:687–717CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Yuan S, Ji Y, Shi P, Zeng J, Gao J, Wang S (2019a) Sparse Bayesian learning-based seismic high-resolution time-frequency analysis. IEEE Geosci Remote Sens Lett. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Yuan S, Liu Y, Zhang Z, Luo C, Wang S (2019b) Prestack stochastic frequency-dependent velocity inversion with rock-physics constraints and statistical associated hydrocarbon attributes. IEEE Geosci Remote Sens Lett 16:140–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Zhao L, Nasser M, Han D (2013) Quantitative geophysical pore-type characterization and its geological implication in carbonate reservoirs. Geophys Prospect 61:827–841CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Zimmerman RW (1985) The effect of microcracks on the elastic moduli of brittle materials. J Mater Sci Lett 4:1457–1460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zou C, Zhu R, Liu K, Su L, Bai B, Zhang X, Yuan X, Wang J (2012) Tight gas sandstone reservoirs in China: characteristics and recognition criteria. J Pet Sci Eng 88–89:82–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences & Polish Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resource and Prospecting, Unconventional Natural Gas Research InstituteChina University of PetroleumBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Earth ScienceUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  3. 3.Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and DevelopmentPetroChina Company LimitedBeijingChina
  4. 4.College of Earth Science and EngineeringShandong University of Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  5. 5.Gudao Oil Production Plant of Shengli OilfieldChina Petrochemical CorporationDongyingChina

Personalised recommendations